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Publishing

UPDATE 1-Mecom sells Norwegian newspapers for 55.9 mln pounds

* Sells two Norwegian newspapers to Polaris Media

* Expects to recieve net cash of about 54.5 million pounds

* Will use proceeds to pay debt

(Adds detail)

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - British-based newspaper publisher Mecom MEC.L said it had agreed to sell Norway's Sunnmorsposten and Romsdals Budstikke daily newspapers to Polaris Media POLME.OL for an enterprise value of about 55.9 million pounds ($79.1 million).

Mecom said in a statement on Wednesday the north-western assets of its Edda Distribusjon and Edda Ressurs businesses would also be included in the sale of the publishers, which are based on the north-western coast of Norway. The Sunnmorsposten and the Romsdals Budstikke had been publishing for more than 120 years, Mecom said, and had daily circulations of 32,667 copies and 18,167 copies repectively.

Seven wholly owned local newspapers and three partly owned titles were also included in the deal, Mecom said.

The British company said the sale, for about 67.4 million pounds, including 11.6 million pounds in cash sold with the businesses, would produce net cash proceeds of about 54.4 million pounds.

Mecom said the money would be used to strengthen its balance sheet and reduce group borrowings.

Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Rupert Winchester

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